Good evening lovelies, it’s been a while. This will be my second secret, although it may not be much a secret to you all – it holds quite the grip on my heart. If you are wondering what I am talking about, refer to my first post about my three secrets, and my second post discussing my very first secret I wrote about.
In the past I have mentioned the importance of discussing your secrets, and with each secret I discuss why they are so near to my heart. It is because they are my foundation. They are a core part of myself and have help shape me into the person I am today. Neither secret holds so much weight that it can ruin me, but each one combined has created the person who is writing today. Please enjoy, because as I write this it brings a sense of relief to myself as well.
When you’re on your own, you tend not to think about the future. You live paycheck to paycheck…and when financial issues arise, you have no choice but to charge it on credit. Your tire blows out – credit card. Your dog gets sick – payment plan. No money for rent? Cash advance. Medical bills from an ovarian cyst rupturing? Credit card and payment plan, duh.
When you’ve been living on your own since you were 16, you figure how to survive. You precariously balance your check book, and your credit card debt. You would think you’d learn after your mother destroyed your credit, but when you are so limited in choices and support, what other option do you have?
I titled this secret as “Foundation” because that’s what this ultimately entails. Since I was young I have been the very foundation of my self. Over the years I became the insulation, the dry wall, the paint, and the furnishings. I learned how to support myself, by any means necessary. That’s what it means to not have family to support you – to live paycheck to paycheck, without medical insurance, and without a stable job. It’s hard to, combining that all with your college coursework, but you make due. In the end I came out on top, but only with a hill of students loans and credit debt. But that’s how I learned how to survive, by finding any means necessary to climb up and out of the hole I had been dug. Surviving – finding resiliency in life’s hardships is a feat.
Now that I’m married I am plagued by many burdens – all brought on by myself.
The first burden is my student loan debt. The second is my credit card debt. And the third – that is where my secret lies.
I have been on my own for so long – I have worked so hard to get to where I am that if I want something, and I work hard enough for, I should get it. But that’s where I am wrong in a marriage. My independent nature is hindering my relationship. For someone to monitor my spending is a hard blow, but it is only as hard as I allow it to be. I buy what I want because, whether it is for myself or someone else, it makes me happier. I grew up far too often without electricity, running water, food to eat, and proper clothes. Now that I am adult I have learned to spoil myself.
And I don’t want to give that up. As a married woman my burdens are now my husband’s. My debt is also his. I don’t consider myself materialistic by any means, but I find comfort in relieving those wants and needs I was never able to before.
Even being married, I still consider myself the foundation of my self. I rely on myself. I hold myself up. I shelter myself. And I can’t leave the home I have created. Giving up this part of me – this independence, would be my undoing. Marriage isn’t meant for secrets. Nor is it meant for self-soothing spending habits, or loyalties from the past. And my guilt is vibrant. Not only have I brought on student debt and credit card debt, but I cannot easily curve my spending habits.
I wish I could explain how much that freedom is necessary right now. When you take away all that someone is familiar with, all that someone has built… they gasp and the grasp for familiarity. They try to find something that soothes them. They try to survive by any means necessary.
Maybe this seems to convoluted, maybe this makes me look bad. But it is not easy to explain my feelings and my sense of vulnerability and unease.
I have survived this long by doing what I need to, but my secret is that I am not entirely sure I am ready to give up my full independence. And this is what I must learn from. No matter how restricted I may feel. No matter how cornered I am. Marriage is no longer about the sole independence I once had. It’s mutual, it’s nurturing. The house I now live in is no longer mine and I’ve been told that I am limited. Choosing the colors of my house and furnishings is now a part of compromise. More often than not I compromise for the other’s happiness, but sometimes I falter. The foundation is no longer mine, but I am in the process of finding pieces of me where I now reside. Little by little I am learning, I am giving, I am trying to relinquish the independence I once held so dear.